A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Dr. Sonia Bennett

A Northwest Indiana Life in the Spotlight: Dr. Sonia Bennett

After moving across the country multiple times and various learning experiences, Dr. Sonia Bennett determined what she wanted her story to be.

Bennett grew up in Virginia attending a variety of schools that included private, public, and even remote-based correspondence work as a three-day event writer. She started taking classes at her local community college before transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

“I started exploring more of the human biomedical sciences,” Bennett said. “I considered medical school and then got into dental school where I worked as an assistant and a lab tech during college to get some hands-on experience. I also started working as an oral surgery assistant around that time and that’s when I started to fall in love with the profession.”

In 2010, Bennett was accepted into dental school at Indiana University. She graduated in 2014 before matching with a program in California after applying for an oral surgery residency. She mentions how this was a monumental time not only for the future of her career but also for her life. On top of moving across the country, Bennett married her husband and had her first baby.

Bennett completed her oral and maxillofacial surgery training and finished the program in 2018. By 2020, she would achieve her board certification in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Today, Bennett specializes in this work with Glacial Sands OMS. While her journey consisted of various roles in different atmospheres, she’s grateful to be where she is today.

“I feel really honored to be in the position that I am right now,” Bennett said. “It makes me feel great to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to help people with these conditions. It makes me feel great. I tear up when I see a new smile on a patient for the first time. It's life-changing for these patients.”

Oral surgery is fascinating for Bennett because she considers it the confluence between medicine and dentistry. 

“Our facial structure depends on our teeth being able to inform and function,” Bennett said. “Having a nice smile and being able to chew food properly has an impact on our mental and physical health. It’s important to help them achieve or restore their health and relieve any chronic pain.”

Through her journey of learning about the world of medicine and dental procedures, Bennett emphasizes that gaining firsthand experience and having patience is important for anyone with the ambition to follow a similar career path.

“Getting involved in a dental or specialist office is a great place to start,” Bennett said. “Nothing can replace getting experience up close. Knowing what is involved in dentistry and day-to-day surgeries is really important to know as well. Having a mentor or somebody who can help you along the way with advice can be extremely helpful through the process. It’s a big investment to make, but I love doing it.”

On top of her work as an oral and maxillofacial specialist, Bennett likes to spend time with her husband, two children, and the animals on their farm. She is happy with the investment her family has made to develop their lives in Chesterton and hopes to be in the community for the foreseeable future.